SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California is just days away from yet another blow to rising gas prices in the state. The gasoline tax climbs to $ 0.51 on July 1.
It has increased every year since 2017 to account for inflation, but some Republicans in the state Senate want Californians to take a break.
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Gas prices are currently averaging around $ 4.25 / gallon, per AAA. The state’s GOP wants a “gasoline tax exemption,” which means no excise tax on gasoline for one year in order to ease the pain of drivers at the pump.
“Forty-five dollars,” Leanor Gonzalez read, as she filled her gas tank. It wasn’t even nearly empty when she stopped to refuel, she said.
Gonzalez is one of the many drivers in the state who pinch the pennies when it comes to his gas tank.
“I have a bigger car than this and I can’t drive it right now,” Gonzalez said. “It costs me almost $ 90 to fill the tank. “
Republicans in the state Senate are hoping to help this amid the state’s huge surplus. They sent a letter to state budget officials asking for the break, relieving people of the gas tax for a year.
Republican State Senator Jim Nielsen, from Tehama, was among those who signed it.
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“It’s time to raise the issue now and see if we can find a resolution and an agreement with the governor,” Nielsen said.
The idea is also welcome for some small business owners. Tim Relles, owner of Relles Florist, spends thousands of dollars on gasoline in a matter of days on every flower delivery.
“It’s for seven days,” he said, pointing to the number on his bill, which was over $ 2,000.
“It’s expensive,” Relles said. “Any reprieve would be wonderful. “
To drop the gasoline tax for a year, the proposal suggests drawing from the general fund to close the gap. But, some pilots like Jose Rodriguez are skeptical that it would work.
“They have to keep the balance,” Rodriguez said. “So they have to put in more and take off from another – it’s just a game as I see it.”
The gasoline tax exemption should go through the legislature. Senator Nielsen said he has not yet heard much opposition.
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Still, many hope that no gasoline tax for a year gets the green light; while others think it could end in a dead end.